SC suspends Centre’s ban on trade in cattle for slaughter
The top court’s order is being seen as a major setback for the Modi government, which agreed to take a re-look into the May 23 ban
In a major setback for the Modi government, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the interim direction of the Madras High Court staying the Centre's notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter will remain in force and would cover the entire country.
A bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud took note of Centre’s statement that it was reconsidering the notification by taking into account various objections and suggestions of stakeholders and would come up with an amended notification.
"Needless to say that the interim direction issued by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court shall continue and extend to the entire country," the bench said.
The Centre’s ban had been stayed by the Madras High Court for four weeks in May, after several petitioners alleged that it “breached the cardinal principle of federalism” and went against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The Environment Ministry had notified the stringent 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017' under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The bench then disposed of the plea filed by the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee challenging the constitutional validity of the May 23 notification.
Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, said the recent notification, in any case, will not be effective unless the state governments earmark local markets as stipulated under it where cattle sale takes place.
"Moreover, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and others authorities concerned are looking into various suggestions and objections to the notification and a fresh amended one will be re-notified," the ASG said, adding the Central government as of now is not seeking a stay on the Madras HC order and apprising the court about the present status.
The apex court considered the submissions of the Centre and asked it to give "sufficient time" so as to enable aggrieved persons to approach the court again with their grievance if any.
The Centre had on May 23 issued the notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that critics claimed would have broken the backbone India’s booming leather and meat industry.
(With PTI inputs)
- Supreme Court
- Ministry of Environment and Forests
- Modi government
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
- Chief Justice JS Khehar
- beef ban
- cattle slaughter
- cattle slaughter ban